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S. Korea, China reach 2019 fisheries agreement

2018/11/09 15:00

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SEOUL, Nov. 9 (Yonhap) -- South Korea and China reached an agreement on their annual fisheries quota in each other's exclusive waters for next year, the Seoul government said Friday.

The agreement was reached at the 18th round of bilateral talks held in the southeastern port city of Busan from Tuesday to Friday, according to the Ministry of Oceans and Fisheries.

The pact allows each country to send up to 1,450 boats in the other's exclusive economic zone next year, cutting the total by 50 boats from 2018.

The quota on the number of fishing boats has decreased for the third consecutive year to maintain a relevant level of fish stock in waters between the two nations, the ministry said.

The Asian neighbors also agreed to beef up joint efforts to crack down on Chinese boats' illegal fishing along South Korea's western maritime border, it noted.

Korean authorities on average have taken action against some 400-500 Chinese vessels illegally fishing in Korean waters annually, mostly near the western maritime border with North Korea. This number fell to 278 last year, according to the ministry. In the first half of this year, 86 Chinese boats were caught for carrying out illegal fishing activities.

Chinese fishing boats illegally operating in South Korean waters near the southwestern port city of Gunsan are shown in this photo provided by the Coast Guard on Nov. 10, 2017. (Yonhap) Chinese fishing boats illegally operating in South Korean waters near the southwestern port city of Gunsan are shown in this photo provided by the Coast Guard on Nov. 10, 2017. (Yonhap)

ejkim@yna.co.kr

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